Astronomers Have Solved 20-Year-Old Supernova Mystery



With the help of recent observations with advanced technology, astronomers have solved a 20 years old star-explosion mystery. Data provided by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, researchers have determined, the supernova detected in 1993, SN 1993j, occurred because one star snitched hydrogen from another. In a statement by study co-author Alex Filippenko, Professor at University of California, said “This is like a crime scene, and we finally identified the robber, the companion star stole a bunch of hydrogen before the primary star exploded.” SN 1993j is a Type IIb supernova and according to one observation something was unusual about the composition of SN 1993j, a very rare type of star explosion that has considerably less hydrogen than any other usual supernova do.




Artist's impression of supernova SN 1993J, located in the galaxy M81. Image Credit: NASA, ESA, G. Bacon (STScI)


After that observation, astronomers started looking for companion star. SN i993j is located in Messier 81 galaxy and is about 11 million light years away from earth. Researcher were unable to find any companion star near SN 1993J, as the the supernova region was so jam-packed that it was very hard to know if they were even looking the the right place.  Lead author Ori Fox said “The problem is that, to date, direct observations of the predicted binary companion star have been difficult to obtain since it is so faint relative to the supernova itself." What ultimately twisted the tide was merging optical images with Hubble ultraviolet (UV) data to find the spectrum of elements anticipated to originate from its companion star. Researchers are planning to examine further to search for more properties of its companion star and learn more about how star explodes.

Supernovas take place about once every second all over the cosmos, detectog one is still a challenge to astrophysicists. Many of these appear very faint due to distance. This creates more troubles for astronomers to detect and solve the different puzzles of star explosion. The study was issued in the July 20 edition of the Astrophysical Journal.
This post was written by Umer Abrar. To contact the author of this post, write to mirzavadoodulbaig@gmail.com or add/follow him on facebook :

Astronomers Have Solved 20-Year-Old Supernova Mystery Astronomers Have Solved 20-Year-Old Supernova Mystery Reviewed by Umer Abrar on 10/02/2014 Rating: 5

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